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FCA to help travellers with pre-existing conditions

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation on proposals to help consumers with pre-existing medical conditions have better access to travel insurance.

The consultation is seeking views on introducing a new “signposting” rule, to provide consumers with details of a directory of travel insurance firms that will cover consumers with more serious pre-existing conditions.

Firms will be required to signpost consumers when cover is declined or cancelled due to a pre-existing condition, when a pre-existing condition is excluded from cover, and when a premium will cost more due to a pre-existing condition.

The regulator also wants consumers to better understand the travel insurance market, including the implications of travelling with insurance exclusions, and how factors such as the country of travel can impact medical costs and therefore the cost of travel cover.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “We want to reduce the numbers of consumers, who are currently faced with a choice of not travelling or travelling without insurance, and running the risk of incurring significant costs, including medical bills abroad.

“The changes proposed today will be an important step in helping people to navigate the market more easily and also in reducing the number of customers who are over-paying significantly for travel insurance.”

The FCA estimates there are up to 14.1 million consumers with a pre-existing condition that look to purchase travel insurance each year. Of these consumers, approximately 0.7 per cent were declined cover, and 11 per cent purchased a policy with an exclusion for their condition.

Some consumers who are offered a policy may also benefit from shopping around, as they might find more affordable cover with a different provider.

The FCA is consulting on the draft rules until 15 September 2019.


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